One thing everyone should do is subscribe to newsletters of happenings in your city or town, it’s the best way to find out about super cool stuff. DO512 has a really great newsletter, filled with events, new restaurants, best patios and all sorts of neat things I would never have known about all around Austin – and that’s how I learned about this amazing ghost tour.
I’m a ghost tour fanatic. Since I was young it’s something I’ve experienced with family members on vacations and something that I’ve continued on with John as we have our adventures together. I’ve done many different types of ghost tours all over but I’ve never had my own PRIVATE HEARSE until I came across Haunted ATX in a newsletter! I’ve also never really had a ghost tour in Austin before either so I was excited for the whole experience! We started the night off first with sushi happy hour at Uchi which is definitely one of our favorite things to do.
After filling up with sashimi we had a spooky beverage at the Halloween themed bar Gibson Street, where Sarah the Hearse driver picked us up. The amazing thing about the private tour is that they pick you up and drop you off anywhere in Austin (within a 15-20 minute radius) AND you can bring your own booze and snacks! She scooped us up and off to the notorious Driskill Hotel we went! We heard all about Jesse and the child who plummeted to their death down a flight of stairs, and even had access to parts of the hotel that were blocked off to guests. Our guide was amazingly animated and thorough so I knew we were going to have a great experience. Also, many years ago I stayed in the bridal suite with my sisters before a Longhorn game and we had a haunted night (there’s even a ghost bride here).
Afterwards we visited the Clay Pit, an Indian restaurant in a historic old general store (called the Bertram building) from the 1800’s. Apparently there were underground tunnels from the general store to the capitol building where folks used to hide gold. The tunnels also kept gentlemen discreet as they visited brothels. Apparently in the late 1800’s the family lived above the store upstairs and some children fell ill with typhoid fever and one died. There is reported paranormal activity here and also the basement where supposedly a prostitute was strangled to death. I captured a weird figure in my mirror shot, above, and generally felt that this was absolutely haunted.
We made a pit stop at the Tavern on Lamar, where I used to frequent and have their delicious wings back in the day. I had no idea it was one of the most haunted spots in town! By a ghost named Emily nonetheless who plays pranks on people upstairs. Maybe she left me alone because we share the same name? Reminds me that I need to go back to the Tavern to have some of those tasty wings….
Of course we had to stop at the Littlefield house on UT campus, which was always talked about as being the scariest place at UT. Funny enough, there was another ghost tour there as well discussing a famous murder that happened while I was at UT all those years ago- so they asked me to share my memories! I felt so old but also it was neat to provide context for the piano teacher Danielle Martin, who was murdered in 2003 by her TA who believed she had a microchip in her brain. He used a meat clever to “get it out” – which resulted in her unfortunate death.
We discussed many other strange events along the way throughout our hearse ride, from other murderers like Colton Pitonyak to ghosts that taunted our tour guide Sarah, to our favorite bars in town. It was one of the most thorough ghost adventures I’ve been on and I 10/10 recommend to even the most skeptical people out there. It’s a little discouraging to do ghost tours where you live because you think you’ve heard them all, but this super interesting twist of an experience was well worth it. Plus we got some coupons to use at the Clay Pit and we want to go back and see if we can see anything else in the mirrors upstairs! (and also want some delish curry)
If you ever find yourself wondering if you should book a private hearse ghost tour, the answer is yes – yes you should. Haunted ATX also provides tours by van that fits upwards of 11-13 people, and hearse tours fit max of 6. Go out there and explore the ghosts, people!
Have a safe Halloween! Stay tuned for our costumes…